by Mike Masnick

Congrats Hollywood: You Put A Useful Software Company Out Of Business

from the for-what-purpose? dept

Hollywood must be thrilled. We've been following the case of 321 Software for nearly two years, and that story is now over. 321 made software that was designed to make backing up your DVDs easier. Fair use laws are clear that people are allowed to make personal backup copies of digital media for themselves, mainly if a product breaks or has problems. 321 was careful to make sure the product was really only useful for that purpose, and that it wasn't a very good tool for anyone who wanted to make many copies of a DVD. The company even put out a bounty if anyone could find someone who was pirating DVDs with their software. Still, the movie industry attacked, and claimed that the software would harm "consumer choice and film making" without giving any evidence how that might happen. Eventually, Hollywood's lawyers prevailed, and 321 was told to stop selling their software. The company kept trying to fight the ruling, but without being able to sell software it's tough to do much, and today the company officially shut down. While Jack Valenti was telling us that if this software was allowed to exist we'd have less consumer choice, it appears that that's the case now, since we can no longer buy this software and back up our DVDs.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 1:57am

    Great News for High-Budget Movies

    It keeps the incentive for plowing millions of dollars into producing a single movie. In a collectivist world where everything is free and any SOB can distribute a movie, Hollywood will have no incentive to make big-budget films anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    thecaptain, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 5:20am

    No Subject Given

    I say we do this...collect all the broken or scratched (ie: non-functional) Hollywood DVDs you can find (parents of small children should have NO trouble) and we should all mail them back to the MPAA demanding a refund.

    I mean since they keep insisting there is NO legitimate reason to back up DVDs they should be more than HAPPY to replace DVDs that get damaged...I mean it must be such a RARE occurence that the cost should be minimal right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Itil, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 6:12am


    Man i hate it when big companies manage to twist the law against the obvious RIGHT of the consumer to exercise his right to backup his purchased media! Not that this will stave the problem, people will just use freeware versions of the same program or get other ones. Hollywood are living in a different world if they think that they can stop people from doing what they want with their own media.


    Help Desk Software Consultant

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    hitesh, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 7:06am

    Re: GRRRR

    atleast dvd-decrpytor and dvd-shrink exist as a good way to do the same. maybe this shutdown will force these things to get a little more user friendly

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 7:15am

    321 sucked... good riddence!

    My personal solution to the RIAA/MPA is:

    DVD Decrypter + InterVideo DVD Copy

    These work beautifully in conjunction and, with a large hard drive plus fast burner, multiple copies are QED. Rent a movie, decrypt, burn and return all within a 2 hour period... and buy an icecream sunday with the money you save on late fees!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Griffon, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 8:33am

    Re: GRRRR

    Try the newest version of DVD shrink plus Nero, it dose not get any easier. read in dvd, click back, go for a sandwidch :).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 11:05am

    No Subject Given

    The true story of David & Goliath.

    Too often, the giant wins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    pete, Aug 4th, 2004 @ 4:36pm

    Open source it

    The last thing 321 should do before it closes is say F U to hollywood by GPLing the program so it can be set free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jeff, Aug 5th, 2004 @ 8:48am

    DVD Shrink

    I was gonna tell everyone just to use DVD Shrink in conjunction with Nero instead. ...but it looks like some others have that covered. Shutting down 321 Studios will not stop people from copying DVDs. If anything it will make it easier and cheaper because people will look for an alternative such as the free DVD Shrink. If you don't have it. Get it now.
    Here's the directions with links to everything you need

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2004 @ 11:15am

    Re: DVD Shrink

    I'd like to fluff AnyDVD by SlySoft. It works in the background and decrypts the DVDs on the fly so you can use any transcoder. DVD Shrink really flies with AnyDVD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2004 @ 4:36pm

    the stats so far

    1 guy thinks the big money is always right
    1 disembodied bible quoter
    1 dvd-scratcher never lost a disk
    1 mandatory gpl suggestion
    1 angry man
    5 people with concrete suggestions for alternatives.

    I get 8 vs 2 PRO flaunting whatever laws there may be. If that's not proof that laws are made to create lawbreakers then I don't know my Ayn Rand.

    Netflix rocks for the three R's.. Rent/Rip & Return. The faster you go, the faster they go... and AFAIK that's no different than taping.

    So lets not forget that there are 500+ legal audio streams out there which you can capture and record with tools like Streamcatcher etc.

    These are disruptive ideas and they will do what they always do. bust techs, just like the busted the steam-engine and prohibition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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